ALA TechSource Logo
 
curve Home spacer Publications spacer Subscribe spacer Blog spacer About  
    

Online Catalogs

Breeding on OCLC library automation strategy

This post is extracted from an article written by Marshall Breeding in the May 2009 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter. Marshall Breeding writes that OCLC's announcement of its new library automation services "stands as a large milestone in the evolution of library automation."  Here is an early...

WorldCat Mobile--Another Major Mobile Web Development

Hot on the heels of the launch of the D.C. Public Library's iPhone application, WorldCat Mobile is now giving users access to over 10,000 libraries in the palm of their hands: A very long time ago (2005! gasp!), I wished for all the library content in the world to fit in your pocket. We're a whole lot closer to that now, with the launch of the new WorldCat mobile pilot. The six month-long...

SOPAC for the Smaller Set

The Darien Library’s new website and SOPAC 2.0 have been live for just over a week, during which time we staffers have had a chance to reflect on our wonderful new online presence. John Blyberg offers a thorough explanation of the technical details at his blog. The impact of SOPAC on the larger library world has been under exploration by much of the biblioblogosphere. Behind the scenes, it's been...

Fishing for Results: In Interview with Christopher Harris

Incorporating social software into libraries and the idea that the OPAC just may suck, have been discussed at length on this blog by various authors. Incorporating Web 2.0 ideas or technologies into your library's web page may be difficult for many reasons. If you are a school librarian, your obstacles increase exponentially. Many of the innovations available to other libraries are not accessible...

Out of the Secret Garden: The RDA/DC Initiative

(If you're at ALA Annual Conference/>/> while you're reading this, the RDA Update Forum is Saturday, June 23, 4:00-5:30 at WCC 206.) "Libraries have lost their place as primary information providers, surpassed by more agile (and in many cases wealthier) purveyors of digital information delivery services. Although libraries still manage materials that are not available elsewhere, the...

Unsucking the OPAC: One Man's Noble Efforts

For better or worse, I'm usually quite prolix on TechSource, but this is a day when I woke up early feeling the need for a wee happy post. It's a day when I flung open the curtains and shouted to the world, "World, the OPAC doesn't always have to suck!" That's particularly true because of the work of Casey Bisson, inventor/developer/creator/instigator/leader of WPOPAC, built "inside the...

Santa Does Maslow

Remember Maslow's hierarchy? At the bottom of the pyramid were the most basic needs… at the top, self-actualization. In between were concepts such as self-esteem, respect, family, and security. We in LibraryLand are scattered all over that matrix. In upstate New York, there's an anecdote about a crusty rural library director—you know the type, in sensible slacks and a gray cardigan, the kind...

Toward the Next Gen Catalog

LibraryLand has seen much excitement since the ALA TechSource blog launched a little over a year ago. As much as Library 2.0 turns me on—Skype me, baby, 8 to the bar!—the trend that makes my heart go pitter-pat is a more subtle water-on-stone metamorphosis, one in which long-held perceptions and attitudes are changing, souls are becoming emboldened, and librarians push forward with new ideas. It'...

Building a Better Beta

Every day companies are coming out with new tools to reach their users on the Web. Many companies have learned that rolling out products before they are completely formed—in beta or even in alpha mode—can save them development time and money. By giving their customers an early look at a product, companies are empowering customers to use the tool in new ways and are providing them with an...

How OPACs Suck, Part 3: The Big Picture

In my two (Part 1 here, Part 2 here) earlier pieces on this topic, I focused very narrowly on some fairly obvious limitations with online catalogs, limiting my discussion to weaknesses in OPAC searching from the user's point of view. There are other issues with online catalogs much bigger and more problematic than search results—problems that can't be addressed by improving relevance ranking or...

How OPACs Suck, Part 2: The Checklist of Shame

In my first article in this series, I wrassled with the biggest bear in the forest: how most online catalogs lack relevance ranking. That's one big hairy bear, but as some readers pointed out, it's a little forced to pick on relevance ranking, out of the context of all the other important features most online catalogs don't offer—or are features implemented so badly that librarians disable these...